I don't recall the first moment when my toddler son started to seem more like a small child than a growing baby. Perhaps it was when he got so confident in his walking abilities that he began venturing into the next room all on his own, with (probably) no clue what he'd be doing when he got there. If a whole house feelings like a suddenly attainable, wide-open world to explore isn't the definitive quality of toddler life, I don't know what is. Or maybe it was when he put two words together ("bubble bath"). Or, it might have been when he spent more than eight seconds looking at the same book, giving me a chance to exhale, check my phone, and glance back at him in awe that he was still "reading." While hanging out with him still feels like caring for him almost all the time, every now and again I get a tiny flash of feeling like we're just two people spending some time together.
And, like anyone you spend hours and hours and hours on end with nearly everyday, we have the occasional ups and downs. Usually I can attribute these moments to hunger (that could mean his or mine, but usually mine), being a few long minutes away from nap time or lunch time, or to when I'm attempting to multi-task (ineffectively, of course). Before I had a baby of my own, I thought the mother/child relationship was immune to the same issues that befall other types of relationships, but now I realize that's just not the case. My son has more leeway with me than anyone else in the entire world (even you, Chris Pratt, you perfect soul), but since neither of us is perfect, there are still moments of frustration on my end. And I would wager that I'm not alone in having all of these thoughts from time to time, especially during those frustrating times: